Controlling Pupils: Practical Teaching in 1905

Controlling Pupils: Practical Teaching in 1905

The chapter excerpted below was part of a booklet titled Fifteen Studies by Practical Teachers – Prize Winners in the National Educational Contest of 1905.

The studies were:

  1. Personality as a Factor in Teaching
  2. The Value of Psychology in Teaching
  3. How Best to Develop Character in Children
  4. How Best to Gain and Keep Control of Pupils
  5. How to Teach Children to Think
  6. Advantages of Memory Work
  7. How Best to Teach Concentration
  8. How to Develop the Conversational Powers of Pupils
  9. The Place of Biography in General Education
  10. The Art of Story-Telling and Its Uses in the School Room
  11. Nature Studies: The Various Methods of Teaching Nature
  12. The Teaching of Phonetics
  13. The Value of Word Study and How to Direct it
  14. The Educational Influence and Value of Manual Training
  15. How Best to Acquaint Pupils with What is Going on in the World

(more…)

Cat Tales in Chronicling America

Cat Tales in Chronicling America

In celebration of the release of the 10 millionth page of Chronicling America, our free, online searchable database of historical U.S. newspapers, the reference librarians in our Serials & Government Publications Division have selected some interesting subjects and articles. We’ll be sharing them in a series of Throwback Thursday #TBT blog posts during the next few weeks.

Today we not only celebrate our 10 millionth page of Chronicling America, but we honor the patron saint of the Internet, the humble feline. You think people are obsessed with cat videos today? Here are 10 high-profile newspaper stories concerning the not-so-common house cat.

Links to each story are at 10 Stories: Cat Tales in Chronicling America.

“…confining the negro to the soil…”

“…confining the negro to the soil…”

Growing up in both the North and the South,  I was exposed to a lot subtle and not-so subtle views about the Civil War, but about the South’s side in particular.  One recurring theme I picked up from adults, at an almost subconscious level, was a sort of dismissive view of the moral and ethical standards of Southern whites and reasons why the Civil War and slavery were not REALLY their fault.

The idea I absorbed was that they should all be forgiven because they did not know any better. Slavery was just part of their world. They inherited it and took it for granted for the most part.

Either that, or they were actually benevolent altruists who were taking hell-bound savages from Africa and teaching them the gospel alongside employment skills  all while and feeding and clothing them and keeping them out of trouble.

To be honest, I think many of the adults I picked this up from did not really know any better themselves.  My schools did a pretty lousy job of teaching anything about life in the south beyond that of the wealthy landowners.  Everything possible was done to make live in the 19th century South happen in the passive voice.  There were slaves and there were plantation owners but the fact that people owned slaves was incidental… “James Smith owned and operated a large cotton plantation in Mississippi… and oh yeah, he also owned some slaves. ”

My schools taught me little or nothing about the scale of slavery in the South.  We never learned how many slaves were needed to produce the kind of wealth enjoyed by the Southern aristocracy.  The way I was taught made it easy for me to accept the narrative that slavery was on its way out and that the South was not really fighting for the right to own slaves in the Civil War.

Diving into primary sources from the mid-19th century changed all that.  There is plenty of evidence that there were concerted efforts in place designed solely to bolster the slave-owning status quo.  The article below penned by a judge in Mobile, Alabama provides an excellent example of the mindset held by some in the South at the time.

It proposes a way to increase support for the institution of slavery among non-slave owning whites by legislating a mandatory class division between blacks and whites by ensuring that black labor is only used for farm work (and presumably domestic work) so mechanical or trade work would be open exclusively to lower classes of white citizens.

Judge Hopkins is very clear in his proposal that creating this divide should win support for slave-ownership by giving white people in the trades a position in society firmly above that held by black workers. (more…)

Life in the Jim Crow South

Life in the Jim Crow South

Behind the Veil is a wonderful resource for anyone interested in life in the south as experienced by African-Americans struggling to make a life for themselves under unfair and repressive laws.

Behind the Veil

The Behind the Veil Oral History Project was undertaken by Duke University’s Center for Documentary Studies from 1993 to 1995. Funded by the National Endowment for the Humanities, the primary purpose of this documentary project was to record and preserve the living memory of African-American life during the age of legal segregation in the American South, from the 1890s to the 1950s.

Herbert Block, 1958

Herbert Block, 1958

Over the span of three summers, teams of researchers conducted oral history interviews with more than one thousand elderly black southerners who remembered that period of legal segregation. The tapes and selected transcripts of the 1,260 interviews in this collection capture the vivid personalities, poignant personal stories, and behind-the-scenes decision-making that bring to life the African-American experience in the South during the late-19th to mid-20th century. It is the largest single collection of Jim Crow oral histories in the world.

Four hundred and ten of the 1,260 interviews have been digitized and made available on this site totaling about 725 hours of recorded audio. One hundred and sixty five of the interviews include transcripts comprising more than 15,000 pages of text.

Source: About – Behind the Veil: Documenting African-American Life in the Jim Crow South – Duke Libraries

(more…)

Frances Benjamin Johnston and the CSAS

Frances Benjamin Johnston and the CSAS

Photographer Frances Benjamin Johnston (1864-1952) created a systematic record of early American buildings and gardens called the Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South (CSAS). This collection includes more than 7,100 images of an estimated 1,700 structures and sites in rural and urban areas of Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, and Louisiana, and to a lesser extent Florida, Mississippi, and West Virginia.

Frances Benjamin Johnston in New Orleans in 1950

Frances Benjamin Johnston in 1950

Frances was born during the American Civil War. Her 60-year career as a photographer began with portrait, news, and documentary work. Over time she began to focus on contemporary architecture and gardens, culminating in a survey of historic buildings in the southern United States.

She counted presidents, diplomats, and other government officials among her portrait clients, while in her personal life she traveled in more Bohemian circles.

In 1945 she moved to New Orleans and settled by 1946 at 1132 Bourbon St., in the French Quarter. That same year she became an honorary member of the American Institute of Architects “for her notable achievement in recording photographically the early architecture of the United States.” In 1947 she had a final exhibition at the Library of Congress.

Frances died in New Orleans on May 16, 1953 at the age of 88. She is buried in Rock Creek Park Cemetery, Washington, DC.

Carnegie Survey of the Architecture of the South

The survey began with a privately funded project to document the Chatham estate and nearby Fredericksburg and Old Falmouth, Virginia, in 1927-29. Johnston then dedicated herself to pursuing a larger project to help preserve historic buildings and inspire interest in American architectural history.

Frances Benjamin Johnston working on the CSAS in 1935.

Frances Benjamin Johnston working on the CSAS in 1935.

Johnston produced vivid portrayals of the exteriors and interiors of houses, mills, and churches as well as mansions, plantations, and outbuildings. She traveled thousands of miles by car to build this collection of photographs.

The Carnegie Corporation provided here with six grants during the 1930s on condition that the negatives be deposited with the Library of Congress. The LoC formally acquired the negatives from her estate in 1953 along with about 20,000 other photographs.

The Library of Congress, with funding from ARTstor, digitized her negatives in 2008.

The CSAS collection is fully indexed so you can browse it by subject.

While much of the collection contains photos of stately manors and public buildings, a few of the locations she surveyed had the remains of slave quarters that she was able to record for posterity.

(more…)